SPANDEX EXPANSION: Australia-based activewear company Lorna Jane is set to resume store growth in the back half of the year, focusing on major metropolitan areas with a new, larger store footprint along with a premium retail concept.
The company, which totals 189 stores, opened 23 locations last year and is taking a breather from growth as it focuses on its customer base, according to founder and chief creative officer Lorna Jane Clarkson.
“We didn’t plan on opening 23 at that time so that was [originally] really going to extend out to the first half of this year, but the opportunities were there so we did it,” she said. “So now we just need to concentrate on the customer base in those areas and build on it.”
The company plans to open stores in London, Paris, Berlin, Singapore, Vancouver, New York, Hong Kong and Toronto with a new flagship design that includes the traditional retail, a workout studio and health food café.
Some 25 of those flagship stores are expected to open in the third and fourth quarters of this year and into early 2016.
The company began dabbling with the new store concept about a year ago with a location in Australia and has been slowly rolling them out to places such as Oregon, Arizona and Texas. The first one in the Los Angeles area is set to open in August in Manhattan Beach.
Uniquely Lorna Jane, a higher-end, runway-inspired line, is set to see its own storefront growth in the latter half of this year, of which about 15 are slated to open in Australia.
Uniquely Lorna Jane retails between $59.99 and $159.99, which compares with $39.99 to $99.99 for the Lorna Jane line.
The company is currently shopping for New York real estate for a possible summer pop-up shop.
The growth comes as the company expands its wholesale business, with the line to be sold in Nordstrom stores beginning next month. That follows its recent addition at Free People and on Revolve.com.
The company recently updated its site and is looking to grow online sales, which account for about 15 percent of the overall business.